Stay on track

Health and wellness trackers

Health and wellness trackers have evolved enormously over the past twenty years. They are not just used by folks monitoring basic energy expenditure in calories and counting steps or Total active minutes during each day. Now, they are used by nearly every type of consumer from those wanting a discreet fashionable wearable to enthusiasts and athletes monitoring every aspect of their health from heart rate, to hydration, sleep, weight, calories in/out, VO2 Max and lactate threshold among other features.

If you have considered getting one or are just curious to learn more about the different models and what exactly they track, this guide to fitness trackers crafted by the folks over at, has more than enough information to help you find one that suits your needs without breaking the bank.

My first fitness tracker

I first purchased a fitness tracker in the early 2000’s. It was a Garmin Forerunner 205 – one of Garmin’s first GPS models. I wore it once, decided it was bulkier than carrying a server room on my wrist, and I didn’t think about it again until 2015, when I was training for my first marathon.

Taking part in several half marathons in the lead up to the Copenhagen Marathon 2015, wearing a Garmin 920XT, took some getting used to, and it’s probably only in the past few years, having replaced the watch strap twice and after numerous (automatic) software upgrades, that I’ve come to depend on this watch as an everyday tool.

Surrey Half Marathon 2015, wearing a Garmin Forerunner 920XT
Geneva Half Marathon 2015, wearing a Garmin Forerunner 920XT
Copenhagen Marathon 2015, wearing a Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Everyday tool

Apart from simply telling the time, counting steps and tracking activities – time, distance and pace for running, cycling and swimming etc. I have used the Garmin 920XT to track health stats including sleep and menstrual cycle. I also separately use the Strava app to capture activities including Peloton indoor cycling, and MyFitnessPal app to track fitness goals – food and exercise.

As we approach 2021, and having had a Garmin 920XT for almost six years (it’s still in perfectly good working order), it’s time for me to upgrade, as I realize that a good fitness tracker isn’t just for training, it’s for living.

If like me, you are considering getting a fitness tracker or upgrading your current tracker, the Consumers Advocate guide is a useful tool with a comprehensive round-up of features, connectivity, cost, user experience and FAQs covering a dozen or so different brands.

My new smartwatch is a multisport GPS watch – Garmin fēnix 6S Sapphire. This watch has more features than the 920XT, including wearable maps, wrist-based heart rate, PacePro Strategy, and syncs with music streaming services, among others. I am excited to use the additional features, particularly as I’m looking to improve overall health and fitness and train for diverse and challenging events in 2021.

Share your views, reviews, thoughts and stories on fitness trackers or smartwatches & if you found this article useful, like and share.

Published by Zealousrunner

Faye is a London-based British Athletics registered athlete, coach, volunteer and licensed Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF), Movement and TRX Suspension Training. She regularly participates in endurance sports and is a member of Fulham Running Club.

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